Jazz Standards Volume 1 is a departure from Henry Robinett’s established body of work – trading in the Pat Metheny-esque lounge vibe for more of a classic cool jazz approach. It’s for this reason, as the guitarist and bandleader himself claims, that the album is being released 20 years after it was originally recorded.
Light piano and guitar improvisations float over a consistently steady rhythm and a walking bass line. Having grown up under the influence of bebop, Robinett sounds more than comfortable within this setting.
Alongside him, pianist Joe Gilman’s improvisations are particularly satisfying; clean and graceful with a natural flow which sounds like it could go unbroken for hours.
It’s a pleasant album, carrying with it an air of piano-bar jazz. This isn’t to use the term in a defamatory sense, but it’s a very accessible and unchallenging record – as an album of jazz standards is so often fated to be.
Nevertheless, there’s no reason why Jazz Standards Volume 1 should have remained unheard for 20 years.
I Hear A Rhapsody; Yellow Days (La Mentira); The Days Of Wine And Roses; The Way You Look Tonight; Ill Wind; East Of The Sun; Invitation; Soul Eyes; Why Do I Love You?; Pinocchio (62.49)
Robinett (elg); Joe Gilman (p); Chris Symer (b); Michael Stephans (d). The Hangar, Sacramento, CA, 19-20 April 2000.
Nefertiti Records N121619